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What is the Effect of Affirmative Action Policy in American Society?

Largely because of the success of affirmative action policies, many individuals argue that these policies are no longer necessary. Racial and gender quotas imposed by federal legislation harm whites who are qualified but lose employment or academic positions, or so the argument goes. Despite such opposition to affirmative action, it is still very necessary. Because of years of systematize and institutional discrimination against women and minorities, minorities and women still find an uneven playing field in corporate America and the halls of academia. The NAACP recently called for a special day to celebrate support for affirmative action due to a number of efforts to undermine such legislation. As Youth and College Director of the NAACP, Brandon Neal, explains, ˘We recognize continuing discrimination and barriers still exist for women students and students of color in higher education. Take Affirmative Action Day builds support for solutions necessary to ensure equal opportunity÷ (Browne 2003, 3).

Such newly reignited support for Affirmative Action comes after a decade of assaults on such legislation. From college students denied admission to employees rejected for employment, a number of lawsuits have been filed in courts across the nation that claim affirmative action represents reverse discrimination. However, affirmative action represents one of the few resources available for affecting change in a traditionally discriminatory system. Despite this fact, many a


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